There's been a lot of discussion lately on the news about minimum wage for fast food workers and I wanted to hear what this community thought of it.


My understanding of the situation is that minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation, and that a person working for minimum wage cannot afford to live on their own.  You're probably better off being unemployed and living off of welfare than clocking in at a fast food restaurant.


I've heard arguments such as "If they want more money they should get a better job", "Minimum wage is supposed to 'motivate' them to find 'better' work", "If 'they' were more skilled, they could do better", "They're just looking for a hand out".


Now I worked in fast food in high school and college and at that point in my life, it was enough because I could still rely on my parents for a place to live and health insurance, but what happens to a less fortunate soul if he or she gets injured?  Lifelong debt and the cycle continues as their children grow up poor.


Would it really be so bad to pay everyone a working wage if they're willing to put the work in?

Tags: fast food, minimum wage, poverty

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I'm only 35 so I'm not the oldest guy around but I'm also not the youngest. One misconception I had when I was younger was that we still lived in the days where you could find a good company to work for and stay there for decades and then retire. Unfortunately that doesn't really happen any longer. Don't think you need to be loyal to a company. You can be loyal to the people but don't think you owe the company anything. Don't be afraid to leave for a better opportunity.

Wow... Irony, thy name is Paul. I was actually just pondering this question, in relation to my main job. It's tough for me; I'm an Eagle Scout, and I take the Scout Laws as a basis for my own code of conduct. "Trustworthy" and "Loyal" being the first two, I place a premium on both values. Sucks when my employers do not feel the same way.

Be loyal and trustworthy to the people you work with and build up a good network of people. This will serve you well. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about leaving a company. Those people who you have been loyal to should be happy for you that you found a way to advance yourself with another opportunity. Being loyal and trustworthy are great qualities to have as long as they are not misplaced. Being loyal to a fire hydrant or to a corporation is misplaced loyalty.

Lets change the question.  Is it okay for the government to subsidize the labor costs corporations making millions and billions of dollars in profits?   That is what is actually happening.  One way or the other the goofball gets a base level of care.  I just don't want the big companies to be subsidized.

For me, it's not so much a question of raising the minimum wage but ensuring that the minimum wage is a living wage.


"There is evidence that living wage ordinances modestly reduce the poverty rates in locations in which these ordinances are enacted.However, there is no evidence that state minimum wage laws do so."

-Neumark D, Adams S (2003a) Do living wage ordinances reduce urban poverty? J Hum Resour 38:490–521


While my statement doesn't apply to every job, I feel that working at fast food restaurants is mainly for people starting out. I do not think these should be long-term careers. But I understand that it is not practical for some people, but that's my two-cents on the issue. 


I don't live in the USA, but I think that labeling a job as a "starting" job, "bridge"job, whatever very dangerous.

If you are supported by your parents and have a low payed job, it's fine. But I guess that for some people it's all they have. So I wonder how they're going to improve their educational level, maintain health care, living costs etc only with a low income. If there's no government support so that they can learn new skills, it's going to be hard to get out of this situation. Telling people to "do something better"doesn't help much in some cases.

Actually, those folks are called "back hoe operators"  now a days.  They get paid considerably more than minimum wage.  Idiot sticks don't get used for the heavy lifting anymore.

I'm an business owner that does public works projects, ie Ditch Digging.  In the area here the union operators are upwards of $60 bucks per hour.  So that is about $120,000. per year to pull levers.  Monkeys can pull levers!!!

And the worst thing is that the union sets the prevailing wage scale for the public works projects.

Yeah.  And then there was the guy in my area who goofed pulling levers on a backhoe.  The resulting gas explosion killed four people.

yeah..  those situations suck.. and we as operators/contractors have very little or no recourse against the guys who spray and pray

I always find it interesting when considering socially progressive programs to consider the opinions of those who remember before the programs existed. I'm eating dinner with my Dad (77yo) tonight, and I'll ask him what he thinks. It's hard to predict his opinions, just when I think I know what he would say he throws me a curve ball. I do know he says that child labor on farms and in factories was never satisfactorily replaced from a cost-of-production point of view.


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